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Popeye (Game & Watch)

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This article is about the handheld game. For the character, see Popeye. For other meanings, see Popeye (disambiguation).

Upon obtaining the Popeye license from King Features Syndicate in light of Donkey Kong's success, not only did Nintendo release the Popeye arcade game, but they also added two Popeye-brand games to their "Game & Watch" catalog, between 1981 and 1983. "Game & Watch" was Nintendo's popular line of electronic handheld games that also worked as a clock, displaying the time when not in use, and even had an alarm option. 60 different titles were released between 1980 and 1991.

Popeye (1981)

The first ever electronic Popeye game is a simple game of skill starring Popeye and Olive, with the latter tossing objects from a ship's deck to be caught by her sailor boyfriend, who sits in a small boat in the middle of the screen. The goal is to catch each and every item by moving side-to-side, and avoid Brutus's attacks, who waits at either edge of the screen for the chance to strike down Popeye. "Left" and "right" buttons are the only controls for this game. After three instances of failing to grab an object and/or being hit by Brutus, the game is over.

Popeye (1983)

Unlike its predecessor, the newer game employs color graphics over a black background. An entirely different game, it focuses on Popeye fighting Brutus to rescue the kidnapped Olive. Both opponents stand face-to-face on a pier and throw punches at each other, with the hero controlled by moving left and right and using a punch button. Popeye has to force his enemy towards the left by attacking him until he falls into the water, doing this three times in a row will make spinach available and result in Olive's rescue. If Popeye were to fall from the right edge, he would lose a life. Losing all three results in a game over. Also, in the harder setting, a swordfish will appear that may stab Popeye trough the pier and push him closer to the edge.

This game was released in two versions: a handheld "Panorama" unit, and a "Tabletop" version that stood upright and resembled a miniature arcade cabinet, complete with a little joystick used for the side-to-side movement.

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